The Legacy Of Socrates Essays In Moral Philosophy

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4.2 Knowledge and Reality Plato believed that there are truths to be discovered; that knowledge is possible.

Moreover, he held that truth is not, as the Sophists thought, relative.

Reason and the Forms Since truth is objective, our knowledge of true propositions must be about real things. Their nature is such that the only mode by which we can know them is rationality.

Forms are the eternal and immutable blueprints or models for everything that is.

Doing what’s best for society means thinking always and only about the right way to govern, the right way to achieve a unified state.

The society Plato envisions is one he thinks can alone ensure people get their due.We can also extrapolate from particulars to get closer to contemplating the Forms.This extrapolation process is made possible by the way that reason works.When one of the first two is not in control, the soul is in a state of disarray.In such a condition, individuals make poor choices and live unhappy lives.This arrangement lends itself to an aristocracy, a society ruled by a privileged class, rather than a democracy.This privilege is, however, practically speaking a burden.Consequently, they are more real than their particulars.Because the Forms make particulars possible, they explain what is—we can understand what is by understanding the Forms.There are three necessary and sufficient conditions, according to Plato, for one to have knowledge: (1) the proposition must be believed; (2) the proposition must be true; and (3) the proposition must be supported by good reasons, which is to say, you must be justified in believing it.Thus, for Plato, knowledge is justified, true belief.

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